Kiva aims to encourage micro-financing by matching ordinary people, willing to provide small loans, with entrepreneurs in developing countries who will use the money to build a business and climb out of poverty. The loans, which can be as small as $25, are usually paid back over 12 months allowing the investor to reinvest their money in someone else’s venture. 96% of borrowers fully repay what they owe, a statistic that represents how seriously these loans are taken.
It’s inspiring to hear how people plan to expand their businesses in order to support their families. For $25 you could support someone in Nepal who is trying to expand their sandal shop or someone in the Philippines who are making and selling crispy snacks. Seamstresses, farmers, bread makers, and shop keepers around the world from Africa to Azerbaijan. You don’t earn interest on a Kiva loan but you do get the satisfaction of knowing that you have made a difference.
So far Kiva has attracted nearly 250,000 lenders and disbursed $22 million across 40 countries. You can withdraw your money when your loan has been repaid but almost everyone keeps on lending. That way Kiva keeps on growing and the charity expects to have distributed $100 million worth of loans by 2010.
If you decide to be a Kiva member we’d love you to join our Yinova Kiva Team.